Ariana's Fight Against Brain Cancer
The next morning Nov 12 we took her to the pediatrician, and we were sent to the hospital for a CT to rule out a concussion. At that time, we were so worried it was a concussion... Little did we know!
The CT showed a possible cyst or tumor in her brain. We were given a few choices on places for an MRI, as kids have to be sedated. We decided on Children's hospital in New Orleans, in case it was worse-case scenario. We were admitted through the ER at Children's that afternoon... They took us straight to the cancer floor without telling us anything, and I almost threw up. I told Lee it must be a mistake and the other rooms were full...
After a lot of talks with doctors, our heads spinning, we were told it was a tumor, and it would need to be operated on, BUT at the moment we had a bigger issue. The CT showed so much fluid on the brain, Ariana needed immediate surgery to put in an exterior ventricular drain. That surgery was about 5:30 or 6 on Nov 12.
We met with our neurosurgeon, and he showed us and told us the tumor was LARGE. It was also attached to important high-functioning areas of the brain. Then she had a brain surgery on Nov 18 to try to get the tumor out. She made it through surgery wonderfully. Doctors, nurses, everyone was pleasantly surprised. We had an MRI the next day.... To see how the tumor looked... And we got the news that 1/3 of the tumor remained. Dr. Roberts felt that he could get more out if he went in a second time, and so we put our trust in that.
Ariana's second brain surgery was Nov 20. Dr Roberts knew he got all he could, but that some still remained. After THAT MRI, we found out 20% is still in there.
We got her oncology report Nov. 21, 2014 on Ariana's 2nd birthday. She was diagnosed with ATRT, a VERY rare, malignant, stage 4 cancer. We knew we needed the best treatment possible, so we reached out to St Jude.
Ariana's pressures were great, so they turned off the EVD. Then, the CTs were good, so they took out the EVD. She was sweating from all the steroids and antibiotics, or so we thought... We later found out she was leaking brain fluid from her stitches...
and so she had her FOURTH surgery on Dec.5 to put in a shunt.
She also got a virus while in the hospital. We have now
been here 23 days, 13 in ICU, and we HOPE to be well enough to go to St. Jude SOON!
We need treatment, and we need it fast.
---Ariana has since had 2 more surgeries- a port and another tumor resection. (Total of 6 surgeries)
She has had 4 months of high dose IV chemo, 6 weeks of proton radiation to the brain, and 6 months of oral maintenance chemo. She has had several seizures and a lot of neuropathic pain. She is not cancer-free, but she WILL be!
Please help us as we help Ariana FIGHT for her life!i
We appreciate everything, and we are especially grateful for the prayers... You ALL will help us win this fight...
much love-- The Farraguts
Ariana and I had the closest relationship of anyone I know, and I truly feel like I’m wandering aimlessly most days limbless... Some days it feels like a lifetime since she left us, and some days it feels like yesterday. Cherish your time with your loved ones. Make memories! Have adventures! Be spontaneous! Try things you are scared of! You never get the time back.... I miss you, Ari... and I love you moon, stars, and everything. #RememberingAri
Today I visited you twice at your graveside. I would camp out there if I could. I went to our favorite store (Target), and I didn’t have to look for LOL dolls. I danced with Evie to some of your favorite songs, but I was just going through the motions for you... That’s what it all feels like... I’m so empty inside. I long for you.
I did laundry, and your dirty clothes made me cry out. You’ll never get to wear them again, but I washed them anyway....
How ironic that you should go to heaven in May: Brain cancer awareness month. Usually my posts this month are full of cancer facts and statistics. Here’s one: Brain cancer can and WILL take your baby if WE don’t start doing something!
I have “felt” you several times today, but there is NOTHING like your smile (and laugh). I would give anything to see it one more time or to hear you tell me you are fine. I KNOW you are in a much better place; I don’t need to hear that. That’s a given. It doesn’t help my broken heart. You’re only 5; you deserved so so much longer.
Everyone is so excited about the end of school, and all I can think of is our first summer without you. You loved loved the beach, so I drove down there today for you.... It was a perfect day.
Oh my sweet precious Ari, I miss you so! Please help Mommy be strong. Tell God to send me some super-human strength, so I can keep taking care of Jameson and Evie. They miss you too. Evie keeps looking for you... and Jameson, poor buddy, he still thinks you are coming back. Please, God, help us all.
Thank you to everyone who prays for and loves us. We need so many prayers right now. I thought I was prepared, but it turns out you can’t prepare for this. It’s SO unnatural!
Lee and I insist that pictures and videos NOT be taken! Thank you for understanding. Please share, and God bless.
Mr. and Mrs. Farragut....I know Ariana will not be in school for a couple of months. I want you to know that we consider her a special part of our school family and we will pray for her every morning before classes start. Please let me know what we can assist you with as you undergo this extremely difficult process....we will make every effort to support you, Ariana and Jameson. God Bless, Mr. Lopez
Praying for your sweet baby and you as well.
Praying for precious Ariana, you & her dad, & all who love her.
Praying everyday for you and your family. May God give you the strength to take the next breath and then the next step. So many people love you, but no one knows your pain. We will just keep asking God to do whatever He knows is best for you.
Always thinking and praying for you and your family.
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk to Heaven now and bring your Ari and my Travis back to us.
My heart hurts for your family. Ariana was a brave, beautiful warrior that never gave up. Prayers for all of her family and love ones in these difficult days, months ahead. Lean on and be there for each other and you have a special guardian angel watching over. Thank you for sharing your precious Ariana. Prayers for peace, strength and courage. Comforting Hugs.
Praying for you and your family during this most difficult time...Rest in peace Arianna.
No words can help....but love and cherished memories will comfort you. I wish I could do something....say something....but words are lost. Prayers always.
Biggest prayers for y'all jenna and lee. And your whole family.
Mr. and Mrs. Farragut, Just spoke with Father Dominic....please keep us informed regarding Ariana. We will have special prayer for her in the morning. I am so overjoyed that Father was able to give her her first communion and that your family shared such a heartfelt occasion with her. God Bless, Mr. Lopez
Jenna we pray with you for healing of Ari's body and that her pain and suffering stop. You are all in our thoughts daily lifting you all up to the Lord